How to: Save Money when Booking musicians on a Budget: 6 Tips and Tricks

If you’re hosting a big event, the costs are going to ramp up quickly. Venue hire, catering, entertainment, photography, videography… The list goes on and on.

How to: Save Money when Booking musicians on a Budget: 6 Tips and Tricks

If you’re on a budget, hiring live music can seem expensive and, sadly, many event organisers skip on the live musical entertainment for cost reasons.

The good news is that live music doesn’t have to be expensive! We’ve compiled 7 tips for you to make sure you can have some awesome musical entertainment at your event without breaking the bank.


1. Book local

Travel expenses can quickly add up if you’re booking a band or multiple musicians to perform at your event. Booking local suppliers minimises travel costs, which can easily cost a few hundred rand if you’re hiring a band to drive a hundred-kilo round trip.

The cost of travel hasn't been standardized for musicians in South Africa, and what they might charge you for travel expenses will vary and will inadvertently be an additional expense that you can avoid by booking local.

Local bands will often charge nothing for travel if they’re particularly close to your venue.

Tip: booking local also minimises the chances of the band getting delayed in traffic or stuck on delayed flights. The closer they are to your venue, the lower the risk of disaster.

Fitchfork has a fast growing variety of musicians in South Africa, which means we can provide almost any type of music in almost any part of the country! Click here to find musicians local to your venue.


2. Book Early

Some bands offer a discount if you’re booking over a year in advance, so it’s worth contacting your favourites as soon as possible.

We always advise our customers to book their musicians as soon as they’ve booked their event venue, as the best soloists and bands get booked up extremely quickly. If you leave it to the last minute, musicians will charge more because they’ll have less time to prepare for the gig.

Booking early is the easiest way to avoid disappointment when booking musicians.


3. Host your event on an uncommon day

Obviously, this is only possible if you haven’t chosen a date yet, but hosting your event on a day that isn’t a Saturday or Sunday will significantly lower the costs of your venue and suppliers. Venues and suppliers are in high demand on weekends, which means the prices are naturally higher.

Consider hosting your event during the week to really cash in on some savings.


4. Book a duo or DJ instead of a full band

Everyone wants a full band compliment at their wedding or event, but few people realise you can achieve a similar effect with a duo, which costs 25% less!

What’s the difference between a duo and a full band compliment?

  • A full band is comprised of at least four musicians: a  drummer, a lead singer, a guitarist and a pianist.
  • A duo is comprised of two musicians: one instrumentalist/singer, and another singer/instrumentalist.

A duo can play all the same repertoire as a full band, and it’s unlikely your guests will notice any real difference in the size of the sound.

Want to save even more? A violin & cello duo can provide a gorgeous sound and create a sophisticated sound without costing an arm and a leg.

Duos typically start at R 3 000, DJs typically start at R 6 000, and full bands typically cost upwards of R 10 000.


5. Book a multi-talented band

Try to find a band whose singers also play instruments.

Consider this: a 3-piece band with a singing guitarist, a singing bassist and a drummer will sound almost the same as a 5-piece band with 2 singers, a guitarist, a bassist and a drummer.

While both of these bands will sound similar, the 3-piece band will cost a staggering 40% less than a 5-piece band.


6. Book one band who can provide different line-up options throughout the day

Many bands can provide a full band performance for the evening party, as well as acoustic soloists and duos for the ceremony, drinks and dinner.

Booking one band minimises travel costs and nearly always costs less than hiring separate musicians for daytime and evening performances.


We hope you’ve found this guide helpful.

If you’re ready to begin comparing prices of available musicians for your event, simply create an audition and a blast will be sent out to all Fitchfork musicians to respond with a quotation for your event.



Jordan Longlace
"I write what I like." - Steve Biko

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